Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Were you in intensive care with your baby?

My friend (who is a writer and poet) had a deeply emotional experience in an intensive care unit with her grandson Josh, and is asking other parents and grandparents to share their own experiences. She intends to publish a book so any ideas for contributions are very welcome.

Here's her story:

In September last year my son and his wife had twin boys who were born prematurely.  Both were doing fine for the first week. Then, quite suddenly, Josh - the first born - choked on his milk and arrested.  He was revived and taken into intensive care.  We took turns sitting with him – he seemed to be hanging on to life by a thread.  No fight in him.

The nurses said, “talk to him”. They said the same to the other parents and grandparents who were sitting by their incubators – but none of us knew what to say. We were all demented with worry – and the dimly lit, high-tech IC environment with its incessant ‘beeps’ and alarms, seemed to render us speechless.  When our own words dried up, we tried reading children’s books to Josh - but they seemed inappropriate. 

We practically lived in this “no-comfort” zone for several spirit-sapping weeks until, at last, Josh was well enough to be taken home.

When we’d all recovered a bit my daughter suggested that we - me and my three daughters - produce a book of stories and poems to provide comfort to parents and grandparents who have to spend time on IC wards. That’s what we are doing - and we intend to publish.  

If you have spent time with a baby in intensive care, please send us your story. Tell us what kept you sane; how you kept hope alive; what you said or read to your babies or wished you had read or said to your babies; how you managed to celebrate a life that might, slip away at any moment. 

We really want to hear from you.

Please send to - Shirley Garner : shir1951@aol.com


nappy valley girl said...

I did have a short experience of this with Littleboy 2, so I'll email her when I get a chance.

Elsie Button said...

Hi NVG, that would be really good, thank you x